I’ve been thinking about launching this blog for many months now, but, until today, have always put it off for one reason or another. As much as I thought my first entry should be utterly earth-shattering, I came up with no such content. Instead, I leave you with a short introduction.
So, in a nutshell, I…
- am 26
- live in Ontario, Canada
- quit work last year to go back to school full-time to finish up my degree
- will be graduating this August (finally!!!)
- have been married for one year
- am a first-time mama to a very special, very rambunctious Doberman puppy
- want to start my CSC course this September
- ultimately want to be a Personal Financial Planner
- want to achieve Financial Freedom by 55
What exactly is Financial Freedom?
What Financial Freedom looks like to me may be entirely different from what it looks like to you, so I think it’s important to kick off this journey by defining it so both you and I have a clear picture of what I’m working towards.
In my opinion, there are 5 Stages of Personal Financial Independence:
Financial Instability: The stage at which your present income is not high enough to cover all of your expenses to live comfortably. Obviously, the definition of a “comfortable” lifestyle will vary greatly from person to person.
Financial Stability: The stage at which your present income is high enough to cover all of your expenses while living comfortably.
Financial Security: The stage at which your present income is high enough to cover all of your expenses while living comfortably today as well as building a comfortable future (i.e. Retirement savings are on track.)
Financial Freedom: The stage at which you no longer are in any debt and no longer have to work to be able to cover all your expenses because you have accumulated enough wealth to sustain a comfortable lifestyle for the rest of your life. Typically achieved at retirement age.
Financial Wealth: The stage at which you have accumulated enough wealth to sustain a lifestyle of luxury.
Before I quit work, we were straddling between Financial Stability and Financial Security – we always had enough to pay our bills and usually had enough leftover to save. Now that we’re technically a one-income household (not entirely an easy feat in the GTA nowadays), we are Financially Stable for the most part. However, if unexpected expenses arise or spending is too high, we occasionally slip back into Financial Instability.
My ultimate goal is to achieve Financial Freedom by 55. I’m a driven, goal-oriented person, so you may be wondering, “Why not strive for Financial Wealth instead?” The answer is simple. I believe that money cannot buy happiness, and to me, happiness is more important than having a whole bunch of stuff that proves that you’ve got more money than those around you. By no means does this mean I do not enjoy the occasional luxury item or experience, because I most certainly do. It’s just not my life goal to sustain an entire lifestyle of luxury.
It’s a long, hard road ahead but I do hope you join me on this journey because it’ll be worth it when we’re finally unchained and arrive at Freedom 55!